We were formed as a Delaware limited partnership in April 2004 to own and operate the assets and businesses previously owned and operated by Cornerstone Family Services, Inc., or Cornerstone, which was converted into CFSI LLC, a limited liability company, prior to our initial public offering of common units representing limited partner interests on September 20, 2004. Cornerstone was founded in 1999 by members of our management team and a private equity investment firm, which we refer to as McCown De Leeuw, in order to acquire a group of 123 cemetery properties and 4 funeral homes.
We are the second largest owner and operator of cemeteries in the United States. As of December 31, 2008, we operated 232 cemeteries in 25 states and Puerto Rico, located primarily in the eastern United States. We own 218 of these cemeteries, and we operate the remaining 14 under long-term management agreements with the non-profit cemetery corporations that own the cemeteries.
We sell these products and services both at the time of death, which we refer to as at-need, and prior to the time of death, which we refer to as pre-need. Whenever possible, we sell burial lots with pre-installed vaults. Our sales of real property, including burial lots (with and without installed vaults), lawn and mausoleum crypts and cremation niches, generate qualifying income sufficient for us to be treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. In 2008, we performed 38,863 burials and sold 25,297 interment rights (net of cancellations). Based on our sales of interment spaces in 2008, our cemeteries have an aggregated weighted average remaining sales life of 225 years.
Our cemetery properties are located in Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, Iowa, Hawaii, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, Indiana, and California. One cemetery in Hawaii that we acquired in December 2007, pursuant to the Transition Agreement discussed below in “Acquisition”, is still awaiting regulatory approval and has not yet been conveyed to us. Our cemetery operations accounted for approximately 94.7%, 92.6% and 86.9% of our revenues in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively.
We also own and operate 60 funeral homes in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, and California. Twenty six of our 60 funeral homes are located on the grounds of cemeteries that we own. Our funeral home revenues accounted for approximately 5.3%, 7.4% and 13.1% of our revenues in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Segment Reporting and Related Information. In conjunction with our September 2006 acquisition of 21 cemeteries and 14 funeral homes from Service Corporation International and as part of ongoing strategic planning and ongoing marketing studies of our potential customers, in the third quarter of 2007 we reorganized and disaggregated our single reportable segment into five distinct reportable segments which are classified as Cemetery Operations—Southeast, Cemetery Operations—Northeast, Cemetery Operations—West, Funeral Homes, and Corporate.
We have chosen this level of reorganization and disaggregation of reportable segments due to the fact that a) each reportable segment has unique characteristics that set it apart from other segments; b) we have organized our management personnel at these operational levels; c) and it is the level at which our chief decision makers and other senior management evaluate performance.
Our Funeral Homes segment offers a range of funeral-related services such as family consultation, the removal of and preparation of remains and the use of funeral home facilities for visitation. These services are distinctly different than the cemetery merchandise and services sold and provided by the Cemetery Operations segments.
Our Cemetery Operations segments sell interment rights, caskets, burial vaults, cremation niches, markers and other cemetery related merchandise. The nature of our customers differs in each of our regionally based Cemetery Operations segments. Cremation rates in the West region are substantially higher than they are in the Southeast region. Rates in the Northeast region tend to be somewhere between the two. Statistics indicate that customers who select cremation services have certain attributes that differ from customers who select other methods of interment. The disaggregation of cemetery operations into the three distinct regional segments is primarily due to these differences in customer attributes along with the previously mentioned management structure and senior management analysis methodologies.
Our Corporate segment includes various home office selling and administrative expenses that are not allocable to the other operating segments.
Cemetery Operations. Our cemetery operations include sales of cemetery interment rights, merchandise and services and the performance of cemetery maintenance and other services. An interment right entitles a customer to burial space in one of our cemeteries and the perpetual care of that burial space. Burial spaces, or lots, are parcels of property that hold interred human remains. Our cemeteries require a burial vault be placed in each burial lot. A burial vault is a rectangular container, usually made of concrete but also made of steel or plastic, which sits in the burial lot and in which the casket is placed. The top of the burial vault is buried approximately 18 to 24 inches below the surface of the ground, and the casket is placed inside the vault. Burial vaults prevent ground settling that otherwise occurs when a casket placed directly in the ground begins to decay creating uneven ground surface. Ground settling typically results in higher maintenance costs and increased potential liability for slip-and-fall accidents on the property. Lawn crypts are a series of closely spaced burial lots with preinstalled vaults and other improvements, such as landscaping, sprinkler systems and drainage. A mausoleum crypt is an above-ground structure that may be designed for a particular customer, which we refer to as a private mausoleum; or it may be a larger building that serves multiple customers, which we refer to as a community mausoleum. Cremation niches are spaces in which the ashes remaining after cremation, sometimes referred to as cremains, are stored. Cremation niches are often part of community mausoleums, although we sell a variety of cremation niches to accommodate our customers’ preferences.